5 Tips to be a Better Leader in 2015


Share on LinkedIn

Building a stable career isn’t as simple as going to school and getting a degree, then finding the perfect job that you’ll stay at for the rest of your life. While you might feel it should be that way, it just isn’t like that anymore.If you want to advance in the working world in 2015, you need to do some things to keep yourself relevant. In fact, you need to work to make yourself a better leader. That’s the way you’ll build a career where you continue to make more money and can take on more responsibility – in an area you love.

When you’re ready to take the first step toward becoming a better leader in 2015, use these five tips to help you along the way.

1. Take Classes
Taking a class is the most obvious way to learn something that can help you in your professional life. Business, computer skills, writing and public speaking or presentation classes can all benefit you. As a first step, think about what skill would help you improve the most and look for classes online or at a local college. Even team cooking classes or other fun activities to flex your leadership skills and improve them.

2. Read Books
You’ll probably end up reading quite a few books on the topic of the class you are taking. However, you don’t have to be in a course to find books that can help you get ahead in your career or help you add new and valuable skills to your already potent arsenal.

Whether you choose a book on how to deal with clients and sales, leadership or how to climb the corporate ladder, making the time to read actively and study is important. Take at least an hour each day and take your reading seriously. That means turning the TV off and limiting distractions. You might even think about staying at work an extra hour if you have a quiet office in which to do your reading. If you are always pressed for time, consider reading summaries of the most important books to keep up on leadership and business.

3. Learn Online Tools
Social media, web skills, and even blogging are all relevant skills today, but not all leaders have them. Learn an online skill or six and how you can use it in your industry. Online skills might not put you ahead of the curve, but it will keep you on the right track. Best of all, you’ll be able to communicate with the people who know those tasks well later on when you’re in a position to direct them.

Having particular internet skills could also help you get a job before both younger candidates and older ones. How? With the experience similar to older employees, but with the internet savvy of the just-out-of-college applicants you will be an attractive candidate. That’s the best of both worlds for any employer.

4. Volunteer
Volunteer positions in your community are great ways to work on a team and build leadership qualities, and it should be obvious that giving back to the area you live in is a worthwhile activity that will make you a better, more understanding person. However, what many people don’t realize about volunteer positions is that they are an incredibly useful way to learn a new skill while doing something meaningful for the community.

There is a whole host of ways to volunteer and learn something you might be lacking. You could offer to take care of the bookkeeping for a local animal shelter if you’re an accountancy professional. You could volunteer to assist the parks department build a website or a section of a website – video gallery for instance – if you know something about web design.

Volunteer opportunities also help you meet and work with people from all walks of life. We don’t often think about it, but better interpersonal skills and even empathy play a significant role in how well we can do in our careers.

5. Find a Mentor
It has been said the best way to be a leader or mentor is to find a mentor for yourself. It might seem hard to find a mentor to guide you, but working with a mentor is crucial for many young professionals. A mentor has been where you are, and if you’re lucky, they’re where you want to be down the road.

Look for somebody in your company or join a professional organization. Believe it or not, many professionals are willing to mentor younger colleagues – often because they had a mentor themselves and know how important it really is in the business world. Just make sure you click with any mentor you take on and that you have similar ideas on your goals and how to pursue them.

Amelia Ranta
Ranta Consulting
Amy is a frequent blogger in topics such as tech, law, and business. She loves traveling and never stops learning.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here